IPL 2019: Top 3 knocks by Shane Watson in IPL History
Shane Watson is one of the few overseas players who has been playing in IPL since the start of the inaugural season in 2008. He started off his IPL career with Rajasthan Royals and was instrumental in them winning the first edition of IPL. In fact, Watson’s performance in the first edition of IPL aided him in enhancing his position as the No 1 all-rounder in the Australian side.
From 2008 to 2016, Rajasthan Royals never let go Shane Watson. However, when RR was suspended in 2016, Shane Watson was picked up by Royal Challengers for whom he played for 2 years in 2016 and 2017. In the 2018 auction, Shane Watson was signed by Chennai Super Kings.
In IPL history, Shane Watson has so far scored 3177 runs at an average of 32 and strike rate of 141 in 117 matches. He has also taken 92 wickets at an economy of 7.93. The Australian all-rounder has played the dual role of opening the batting and bowling in IPL to perfection.
In this article, let us analyse Shane Watson’s 3 best knocks in IPL history.
#3. Watson’s 89 not out for Rajasthan Royals against Mumbai Indians in 2011
In this match, Watson first made his presence felt by claiming 3 wickets including the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayadu. Because of Watson’s effort of 3 for 19 in 4 overs, Mumbai Indians couldn't get going in their innings. They finished with 133 in 20 overs though they had lost only 5 wickets.
RR started their chase with Shane Watson opening with Rahul Dravid. Watson warmed up with a four off the first ball of the innings bowled by Munaf Patel. To exploit Watson’s supposed weakness against spin, Harbhajan was brought in from the other end. Watson hoisted him for two sixes in his first over. Mumbai Indian’s star bowler Lasith Malinga was greeted with two fours in his first over.
In Malinga's next over, Watson pulled his short balls to mid wicket for two fours and one six. After neutralising the Malinga threat, Watson turned his attention to Dhawal Kulkarni and thumped him for a four and six. He reached his fifty off 30 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes.
After completing his fifty, Watson went after Harbhajan blasting him for 3 consecutive fours. Chasing 134 for a win, RR reached 97 in the first 10 overs. Kieron Pollard leaked 19 runs in his 2 overs. Finally, when the target was reached in the 14th over, Watson was unbeaten on 89 off 47 balls with 9 fours and 6 sixes while Dravid remained not out on 43.
This was Shane Watson’s first 50 in the IPL 2011 season. While Rajasthan Royals failed to qualify for the play-off stages in that season, Mumbi Indians were knocked out by Royal Challengers in Qualifier 2.